I have been a licensed doctor of acupuncture for approximately 20 years, and stress and anxiety reduction therapy is one my specialties.
There are a few steps that should be taken when working with a person to reduce anxiety. It is necessary to provide a medical assessment before beginning any treatment plan. This is due to these facts: each person’s unique needs should be well understood by the physician, that trust and rapport be established, and that any and all previous or current therapeutic procedures be clarified. There are no adverse side effects from acupuncture therapy; in fact, there is almost always a calming that occurs following treatment, as a result of endorphins being released from the brain. However, apart from acupuncture, many physicians will also suggest the support of herbal remedies. Many of these are also helpful, although some cannot be used in conjunction with certain prescription medications.
Once this initial assessment process in clarified, there are two essential steps concerning therapy. Acupuncture can target specific pressure points on the body that are well known to both relieve and prevent anxiety. The other facet involves personalized life coaching. Coaching is provided to reinforce the benefits of therapy on one hand, while offering a simple, convenient self-care practice or practices to the patient on the other hand. My prognosis for recovery is often based on how diligently the patients apply themselves to these suggested homework exercises. One additional step I take, following our treatment, is that I always email a reminder of the key highlights from the coaching session as well as an encouragement to reply with any questions or feedback that might come up.
Evidence for how acupuncture reduces anxiety can be indicated in a few ways. First and foremost, acupuncture triggers the brain to release endorphins, so the patients always feel calmer, clearer, and more centered after therapy. Another benefit of acupuncture therapy is that is assists with taking stimulation away from the sympathetic nervous system, or stress response management system, and simultaneously reinforce the parasympathetic nervous system, which manages the relaxation responses of the body. One notable benefit from acupuncture for anxiety reduction comes from the fact that a clearer, calmer person can more easily and effectively adjust their perceptions and subconscious processing of whatever information is at the origin of their anxiety. Addressing this mind-body relationship can typically lead to long lasting results.
Dr. Justin Newman
Please contact me for more information if you or someone you know is having trouble coping with anxiety.
Here is some general information from the mainstream about anxiety,
AND HERE are the results of one study, among many, as published by the National Institutes of Health,